How to Live in Your Home While You're Remodeling

Remodeling your home is an exciting yet serious undertaking that requires thoughtful planning and decision-making. As you consider how extensive the project will be, one of the more impactful decisions is deciding where to live during the remodel.

Clearly, living in your home during the remodel will save you the cost of renting a hotel or apartment, while also allowing you to be on-site allowing better communication with your contractor. That being true, you also need to consider that living in the house may actually slow the project down and cost more. This is an important point to discuss with your contract. Also, living somewhere else spares you from living with all the dust and noise of construction. As a general rule, if the roof will be removed or at least half of the house is being remodeled, it’s usually not possible to live in the house.

If you’ve decided to live in your home during the remodel here are some tips to make your life easier:

Coordinate Access

Be sure to maintain a construction-free zone that is sealed off providing you a private and dust-free area. Discuss with your contractor ahead of time to agree on when and where they will be working. This will save you from unexpected intrusions into your space as well as help your contractor plan a smooth-running project.

Prepare Ahead For Bathroom Remodel

An obvious, but all too often overlooked, consideration is to not remodel all your bathrooms at the same time. Plan with your contractor to leave one bathroom untouched until the others are completed or do one at a time. The bathroom should also be sealed off or have the door shut and windows open to minimize dust entering the house.

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Prepare Ahead For Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen remodel is among the most disruptive, especially for families, as the kitchen is the center of activity. If possible, it’s helpful to plan a kitchen remodel during a time of year when the weather is pleasant for cooking outside. A lot can be done with a hot plate and a microwave and old kitchen cabinets can be used for a temporary kitchen. You may also want to make and freeze meals ahead of time to make eating at home easier.

Mess Control

Remodeling is a dusty process and many surfaces may need to be protected from not just dust but also from painting and other activities. Dust barriers such as plastic in open doorways will help keep the dust from traveling into other areas of the house. Dropcloth and other protective coverings should be used to protect floors other surfaces from paint and debris.

If you have hardwood floors you may also want a protective covering, so the floor doesn’t get damaged during the remodel. Also, keep the use of your HVAC system to a minimum as it will quickly spread dust throughout the house. Every contractor should clean up at the end of each workday but be sure to confirm with your contractor that this is a priority.

Plan Ahead For Kids And Pets

Especially if you have younger children, considerations such as child safety gates blocking access to construction areas are helpful. And keep in mind that construction won’t stop for things such as nap time, so planning for a quiet area it’s important. Consider your family’s daily routine and how it may be disrupted, what is necessary and what is not, this will help you identify the issues that need solutions.

The noise of construction and the presence of strangers can be difficult for pets too. Consider your pet’s needs and how you expect they will react, then develop a plan accordingly.

While remodeling is a hectic process, that is definitely disruptive to the daily flow of life, a carefully thought-out plan will make your home remodeling experience much more pleasant and successful.

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